I wanted to share with you some of my new and recent Celtic knotwork learning for my own art practice…
This year, I’ve decided to spend more time concentrating on drawing Celtic knotwork and including it in my artwork – as well as learning Calligraphy.
These are both art forms that I explored in my childhood and loved!
My mum trained as an art teacher in the 1960s and did her dissertation on Celtic art in Ireland – specifically the Book of Kells. So I was lucky enough to be allowed to play with her dissertation, and she gave me the postcards she’d collected of the Book of Kells to play with and to inspire me.
My mum also taught me how to draw simple Celtic spirals – so that’s what I doodled as a child…
Celtic-inspired swans artwork by Lotti Brown.
My Celtic swans artwork was inspired by this graceful symbol of inner beauty and true love.
Swans are a frequent theme in Celtic legend and folklore – we currently have around 200 whooper swans wintering in the wetlands of the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve, close to my home, and often see and hear the swans flying over. In years gone by, up to 300 Bewick’s swans would over-winter in the area – in Celtic times, the numbers of swans both here and in the Celtic strongholds of Wales and Ireland must have been even greater – a real feature in Celtic life and not surprising they feature in so many tales.
We all know the story of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – a story drawn from Russian and European folktales of a princess enchanted to be a swan...
And European folklore is filled with princesses and maidens who are turned into swans – often as punishment!
Beautiful Celtic-inspired barn owl art print...
My barn owl artwork is inspired by the beautiful and ethereal snowy-white barn owls that we often see in the fields near home.
In late winter, we sometimes see them around dawn and dusk – but sometimes, even in full daylight, quartering the fields and hunting for mice to feed their chicks, recently hatched.
Even in sunlight the barn owl seems to have an otherworldly and somewhat ghostly presence – a pallor that’s outside of our everyday world.
In folklore, the owl is often associated with the Otherworld and darkness – but also with being clear-sighted, all-knowing, and wise.
The owl is associated with the goddess of wisdom – Athena in the Greek tradition, Sulis in the Celtic tradition, and Minerva for the Romans. Sulis was the Celtic goddess of justice, echoing the perception of the owl’s knowing wisdom.
In the Celtic legend the ‘Quest for Olwen’, the owl is encountered as one of the five oldest beasts on Earth, symbolising the owl’s ancient knowledge and enduring wisdom.
Fill your life with more art!
Enjoy a cool 35% off wall art in my Society6 store this week, including:
No coupon code is necessary - the discount is already displayed and automatically applied.
Offer is for this week only - ends Sunday 15th March 2020 at 11.59PM PT
Shop for wall art in the Lotti Brown Society6 store now...
Make mum smile this year with great Mother's Day gift ideas to bring delight and happiness to this special family day...
Mother's Day is in March in the UK and Ireland, while in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand it falls in June.
I've got some lovely gift ideas to please mum, whether you're making a special trip to see her, enjoying family time together, or simply posting a thoughtful gift with your love...
These beautiful silky scarves are lovely and large with gorgeously soft, lightweight fabric that drapes and flows like real silk - incredibly stylish and beautiful!
The colours are vivid with a slightly transparent effect so that the colours are visible both sides of the scarf.
Just to let you know that my Etsy store is now fully restocked with:
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Colourful sparrows art by Lotti Brown...
My sweet sparrows art was inspired by the sparrows in my own garden - we have a little flock of about 12 house sparrows, male and female, who feed (virtually all day, every day) at the feeder in our plum tree.
I think they might live in there too, as the plum tree is thick with ivy and creepers and it's safe for them to hide out or roost.
They perch across all the branches of the tree, like fluttering decorations, keeping watch and taking turns...
They're so funny to see with their swift, twittering arguments around the feeder. We even had once hanging completely upside down at the feeder to stop being bombarded from his mates from the ferns beneath...
It was quite effective until the little birds got wise and while he was still hanging upside down, they swooped down from above to oust him from the feeder. I haven't seen him try it again since!
Beautiful and richly coloured 'Chaffinches in Cherry Blossom' artwork by Lotti Brown...
I don't see chaffinches often in my tiny countryside garden, but when I do I'm always happy to see the beautiful colours as chaffinches were one of my absolute favourites as a child and were often visitors to our family garden...
I create my art from pen and marker drawings...
I draw each bird and branch of cherry blossom separately as I then scan each drawing into the computer and create digitally with my drawings in Adobe Illustrator... do you want to see?
Wishing you a very merry Christmas...
I hope you have a peaceful and loving festive period, however you're celebrating...
See you in 2020!!
My colourful 'Garden Wrens' artwork was inspired by seeing a tiny wren flitting about in the colourful Acer leaves in my back garden (while I was doing the washing-up!)... it was a wonderful moment as we so rarely see the little wrens that we suspect have a nest in thick ivy behind our plum tree...
Such a sweet little bird and a real treat to see in my own back garden!
I create my artworks digitally in Adobe Illustrator - but I start them the good old-fashioned way - with pen and paper...
Author: Lotti Brown
Artist, designer, and online drawing teacher.
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